Your sciatic nerve is critical for your overall health. It’s the longest and widest of all your nerves, but you’ve likely not thought much about it unless you’ve had a problem with it.
The sciatic nerve is the main nerve that controls your lower body. Beginning at the lower spine, it moves downward through the pelvis and down each leg. The sciatic nerve performs two very important functions. It activates all of the movement in your lower extremities. It also provides sensation for your lower body all the way down to your feet.
As you can see, this nerve is essential for daily functioning. When it’s damaged or irritated, you will definitely know it!
An inflamed sciatic nerve will cause sciatica: a pain in your lower back, down your buttocks, and into your legs. You may even have numbness or a feeling of pins and needles in those areas. Some people experience incontinence or muscle weakness in the lower body. Typically, people with sciatica experience symptoms on one side of their body.
Sciatica is caused by anything that misaligns your spine or tightens the muscles in your lower body. For instance, a fall or herniated disc may damage your vertebrae, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Another hazard is repetitive stress, such as lifting heavy items or sitting down for long periods.
Sciatica is very common, especially in older adults. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Pregnant women are also at risk for sciatica as their body shifts internally to accommodate the growing baby.
You can take steps to prevent or improve your symptoms if you are experiencing sciatica.
Reducing inflammation in the body can support the health of your nerves. While there are many anti-inflammatory medications, you may want to reduce inflammation naturally.
Along with a healthy diet, some natural supplements can help.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that can help with age-related degeneration.
Quercetin, which is a natural pigment found in plants, also has many properties that reduce inflammation.
Tight muscles in the buttocks and legs can put pressure on and irritate the sciatic nerve. Focus gentle stretches on these areas.
Lie on your back with knees bent. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and gently pull the legs toward your chest. Then do the same stretch with the other leg.
Another helpful stretch is to lie on your back with your legs straight. Bend one knee and pull it gently toward the opposite shoulder. You should feel a mild tug but no pain. Repeat on both sides.
Apply cold and hot packs
Apply cold packs to your lower back for a few minutes several times a day. After a few days, switch to a hot pack.
The anti-inflammatory boost from cold packs and the muscle-relaxing help from the hot packs can calm down the irritation on your sciatic nerve and provide pain relief.
Hopefully you never experience this pain in the you-know-where, but if you do, you’ll be armed with the information you need to take care of it.
Let’s stay healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio